Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area

The true sanctuary of biodiversity in Bolivia: the Amboró National Park, formally known as the Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area. With its vast spectrum of ecosystems, from cloud forests to savannas, it is a place of wonder for nature lovers, adventurers, and wildlife enthusiasts. This guide provides a comprehensive insight into what can be expected when visiting this protected Bolivian region.

Introduction to Amboró National Park

Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area

Geographical Location

The Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area is situated to the west of the Santa Cruz department in Bolivia. It spans across several provinces, including Manuel María Caballero, Florida, Ichilo, and Andrés Ibáñez. Furthermore, it involves various municipalities encompassing Comarapa, Saipina, Pampa Grande, Mairana, Samaipata, Buena Vista, San Carlos, Yapacaní, El Torno, and Porongo.


The park is located within a reference quadrant with the following geographical coordinates:
Southern Latitude: From 17° 14′ to 18° 07′.
Western Longitude: From 64° 46′ to 63° 28′.

Protected Area of Amboró National Park

The extent of the Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area has been mentioned in two distinct sources:

  • According to Supreme Decree: 637,600 hectares.
    According to digital GIS (Geographic Information System) archives: 609,900 hectares.

It is important to note that slight variations in the figures may occur due to cartographic updates or more recent studies of the park’s territory.

History of Park Creation

Amboró National Park, also known as the "TCNL Germán Busch" Natural Reserve and in Spanish as the "Parque Nacional y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado Amboró", had its beginnings on December 20, 1973, when it was established under Supreme Decree No. 11254. At that time, it was granted the category of Natural Reserve and bore the name "TCNL Germán Busch".

Expansion and Category Change

On August 16, 1984, through Supreme Decree No. 20423, a significant change in its category and designation took place. The natural reserve was officially transformed into Amboró National Park, in an effort to preserve its rich biodiversity and natural heritage.

Expansion of the Park

On October 11, 1991, through Supreme Decree No. 22939, a substantial expansion of the park’s area was carried out. Its extent increased considerably, reaching a total of 637,600 hectares.

Establishment of the Integrated Management Natural Area

On October 3, 1995, through Supreme Decree No. 24137, the extension of Amboró National Park was redefined, and an Integrated Management Natural Area (ANMI) was additionally established. This measure aimed to integrate nature conservation with sustainable resource use in certain areas of the park.
Since then, the Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area has been an exceptional refuge for Bolivian biodiversity and a natural treasure of immeasurable value for the enjoyment of nature lovers, adventurers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Its history of creation and protection stands as a testament to Bolivia’s commitment to preserving its ecological wealth for present and future generations.

Objectives of Creating Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area

The creation of Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area, established with the purpose of protecting and conserving one of Bolivia’s most important natural treasures, is based on several key objectives:

  • Protecting forested natural cover: The park seeks to preserve extensive areas of forests and jungles, as these ecosystems play a crucial role in safeguarding rivers and streams. Forest cover acts as a natural barrier against erosion and helps maintain water quality in the bodies of water flowing through the region.
  • Conserving biological diversity: Amboró is a true gem in terms of biodiversity. Being a convergence point of three distinct ecoregions (the Amazon, the Andes, and the Gran Chaco), the park harbors an impressive variety of flora and fauna. Its creation aims to preserve and protect this unique biological richness.
  • Preserving watersheds: Watersheds are fundamental to ecosystem balance and water supply for various communities and wildlife. Amboró National Park, by safeguarding its watersheds, contributes to maintaining a steady flow of water and protecting the health of the rivers and streams that originate or pass through its territories.
  • Managing natural resources: Park conservation involves proper management of the natural resources present in its territory. The goal is to ensure sustainable and responsible use of resources, avoiding depletion and promoting long-term preservation.
  • Promoting scientific research: Amboró provides a conducive setting for scientific research due to its high biodiversity and diverse ecosystems. The park’s creation also aims to encourage the conduct of studies and research that better understand the area’s natural wealth and develop more effective conservation strategies.

Physical Characteristics: Geography, Physiography, and Climate


Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area is located within the Subandean belt of Bolivia’s Eastern Cordillera. This geographical location bestows upon it a unique and diverse physiography.

  1. Mountainous topography: The park stands out for its mountainous topography, with numerous elevations and rugged relief. The presence of mountains and hills creates an impressive and varied landscape, offering panoramic views of great natural beauty.
  2. Steep slopes: The mountains within the park often feature steep slopes, contributing to the formation of rugged landscapes and deep valleys. These slopes provide diverse habitats for flora and fauna that adapt to different altitudes and environmental conditions.
  3. Altitude variations: Amboró encompasses a wide range of altitudes, leading to significant changes in climatic conditions and ecosystems. From the lowlands to the highest peaks, different types of vegetation and wildlife species can be found.
  4. Low hills in the south: In the southern end of the protected area, the presence of low hills is characteristic. These areas have more moderate altitudes compared to the higher mountains of the park, which may result in distinct ecosystems adapted to these conditions.

The diverse physiography of Amboró National Park contributes to its exceptional biodiversity and ecological richness. The different landscapes and altitudes within the protected area offer diverse habitats for a wide variety of flora and fauna species, making it a true nature sanctuary in Bolivia.


It is part of the Amazon River macrobasin, meaning its hydrographic network contributes to the Amazon River basin, one of the largest and most important in the world. Below are some of the main sub-basins present in the park:

  1. Río Grande or Guapay Sub-basin: The Río Grande or Guapay is one of the main rivers that flows through the park. It originates in the high mountains of Amboró, and along its course, it collects waters from numerous streams and tributaries, significantly contributing to the park’s hydrography.
  2. Río Mamorecillo Sub-basin: The Río Mamorecillo is also an important part of Amboró National Park’s hydrographic network. It originates in the high areas of the park and flows through its territory, providing a vital habitat for various species of flora and fauna.
  3. Río Yapacani Sub-basin: The Río Yapacani is another prominent river within the park. Its course also originates in the mountains of Amboró, and its presence contributes to the diversity and richness of the park’s ecosystem.

These sub-basins, along with other smaller streams and tributaries, form a complex and vital hydrographic network for the functioning and health of the ecosystems in Amboró National Park. The rivers and watercourses provide water and food for flora and fauna, and also play a fundamental role in protecting and preserving the park’s natural environment.


The park exhibits a variety of climates due to its diverse geographical location and the different altitudes within its territory. Below are the main climate characteristics in different areas of the park:

  1. Temperate climate of valleys and yungas in high parts:
    • Temperatures: During the months of November to March, temperatures can reach up to 35°C, creating a temperate and warm climate.
    • Lower temperatures: In the months of June to August, temperatures significantly decrease, reaching around 10°C. This creates a cooler and more pleasant environment for visitors.
  2. Varied annual precipitation:
    • Transition to dry valleys in the South: Annual precipitation in this region reaches around 1000 mm. This area tends to be drier compared to other parts of the park.
    • Cloud forests of yungas and rainy sub-Andean areas: In these areas, annual precipitation is more abundant, reaching around 3000 mm. These regions experience a wetter and rainier climate.
    • Part of the plain and foothills: Here, the average annual precipitation is around 1600 mm. This zone falls in the middle in terms of its humidity.

The variation in climatic conditions within Amboró National Park contributes to its incredible diversity of ecosystems and flora and fauna. These diverse climates allow for the existence of cloud forests, jungles, dry valleys, and other diverse habitats, creating a sanctuary for a wide range of species and making the park a captivating destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

Biodiversity in Amboró


The park showcases remarkable diversity in ecoregions, making it a unique ecological site. Below are descriptions of the five ecoregions present within the protected area:

  1. Southwest Amazon Rainforests: This ecoregion covers a significant portion of the park and is characterized by its lush and dense tropical forests. Here, a wide variety of plant and animal species can be found, making it a primary refuge for biodiversity in the region.
  2. Yungas: The Yungas ecoregion is located on the eastern slopes of the Andes and is known for its high biodiversity and a unique blend of species from the Amazon and the Andes. In Amboró National Park, this ecoregion is manifested in cloud forests and humid areas where mist is frequent.
  3. Bolivian Tucuman Forest: This ecoregion is present in the mountainous and sub-Andean areas of the park. It is characterized by the presence of drier forests and shrublands and is home to species adapted to conditions of lower humidity.
  4. Chaco Serrano: The Chaco Serrano ecoregion covers the lower and drier areas of the park. It is characterized by its savannah and thorn forest landscapes, which contrast with the wetter and wooded areas of other ecoregions.
  5. Inter-Andean Dry Forests: This ecoregion is found in the higher and drier areas of the park, especially in areas near the foothills of the Andes. Dry forests and shrubs adapted to arid conditions prevail here.

The presence of these five ecoregions within Amboró National Park contributes to its remarkable biological diversity and makes it a privileged site for the conservation and study of the different ecosystems coexisting in this wonderful biodiversity sanctuary in Bolivia.


Amboró National Park is an invaluable reserve for the conservation of fauna in Bolivia and is an integral part of the Vilcabamba-Amboró Corridor, an area of great ecological importance. Within this nature sanctuary, diverse ecosystems are home to a remarkable diversity of animal species. Approximately 1,236 species of fauna have been recorded, some of which are particularly noteworthy:

  1. Andean Bear or Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus): This iconic species is one of the park’s treasures. The Andean bear, also known as the spectacled bear, is a flagship mammal of the Andean and mountainous forests of South America. Its presence in Amboró is an indicator of the health and balance of the ecosystems present.
  2. Jaguar (Panthera onca): The majestic jaguar is another of the great felines that find refuge in the park. Considered one of the most powerful predators in the Americas, its presence is essential for maintaining balance in the food chain and controlling populations of other species.
  3. Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla): Also known as the giant anteater, this species is one of the largest in its family. Its diet is primarily based on ants and termites, contributing to regulating the populations of these insects and their importance in the ecosystem.
  4. Horned Curassow (Pauxi unicornis): This is one of the most unique and distinctive birds in the park. Its striking crest makes it easily recognizable, and its presence in Amboró is a testament to the area’s importance for bird conservation in Bolivia.
  5. Military Macaw (Ara militaris) and Red-fronted Macaw (Ara rubrogenys): These two species of macaws are also worth mentioning. Their presence in the park showcases the diversity of birds that find refuge in these forests.


Amboró National Park is home to a rich diversity of flora, and it is estimated to harbor between 4,000 and 5,000 plant species. Although many studies are still needed to complete a comprehensive inventory, there is currently information about approximately 3,000 species. Below are some of the most relevant species present in the protected area:

  1. Giant Tree Ferns: In the cloud forests of Amboró Park, extensive patches of giant tree ferns such as Cyathea sp. and Alsophila sp. can be found. These majestic ferns add a touch of mystery and beauty to the shady and humid spaces of the park.
  2. Palms: The variety of palms in Amboró is impressive, and notable species include pachiuva (Socratea exorrhiza), asaí (Euterpe precatoria), and palma (Dictyocaryun lamarckianum). The endangered palma bendita (Ceroxylon sp. c.parvum) can also be found.
  3. Endemic Cacti: The park is home to several species of endemic cacti, including the Cereus colosseus, which is found only in this region, making it a species of high ecological value.
  4. Orchids and Bromeliads: Amboró is a paradise for orchid and bromeliad enthusiasts. These exquisite plants adorn the trees and forest floor, adding great beauty to the park’s flora.
  5. Economically Important Tree Species: The park boasts economically important tree species, such as mara (Swietenia macrophylla), known as Bolivian mahogany, tajibo (Tabebuia sp.), cedar (Cedrela sp.), mountain pines (Podocarpus spp.), and walnut (Juglans boliviana).

Tourist Attractions and Main Activities

Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area is an exceptional tourist destination for nature and adventure enthusiasts. Its vast biodiversity and diverse landscapes offer a wide range of attractions for visitors. Below are some of the most prominent tourist attractions in the park:

Cataratas del Jardín (Garden Waterfalls)

These stunning waterfalls are a natural spectacle that captivates visitors. The crystal-clear waterfall descends from the high mountains amidst lush vegetation, creating an unparalleled scene of beauty.


A picturesque village situated at the foothills of the park, Mataracú offers a unique opportunity to experience the traditional life of local communities and learn about their culture and customs.

Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon)

This beautiful lagoon is set in a dreamlike environment surrounded by forests and mountains. It’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy the serenity of nature.

Cueva de los Vencejos y Murciélagos (Swifts and Bats Cave)

An adventure for ecotourism and exploration enthusiasts. This cave hosts colonies of swifts and bats, offering a unique experience to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Bosque de los Helechos (Fern Forest)

A magical and mysterious place, this forest is home to giant tree ferns that create a lush and green canopy. Walking among these giants is like stepping into a fairy tale.


The park also houses some extinct volcanoes, which provide impressive panoramic views of the region. These volcanic formations add a touch of majesty to the park’s landscape.

These are just a few examples of the tourist attractions that Amboró National Park offers. Every corner of the protected area is an opportunity to explore and discover the natural and cultural richness that makes it so special. Visitors can enjoy hiking, bird watching, nature photography, and unforgettable experiences in a setting of unparalleled beauty and diversity.

Tips for Visitors

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Amboró, it’s important to consider some tips and recommendations.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Amboró depends on what you want to experience. For bird watching and wildlife observation, the drier months between May and October are ideal. However, for seeing the vegetation in its full splendor, the rainier months between November and April might be more attractive. Remember that temperatures can reach up to 35°C between the months of November to March.

Getting There and Getting Around the Park

There are several routes to reach Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area. The two main roadways connect Cochabamba with Santa Cruz, and from these, secondary roads lead to the communities within the ANMI. Here are some options for reaching the protected area:

From Cochabamba to Santa Cruz

Take the overland route that connects Cochabamba with Santa Cruz, an important route that passes through various localities.
From this main highway, there are detours and secondary roads that lead to Amboró National Park.
Access from Buena Vista or Samaipata:

If you are in Buena Vista or Samaipata, you can head towards the park from these localities.
There might be signage or local guides that can direct you to the roads leading to the protected area.

Access from Mairana, Mataral, and Comarapa (south)

These towns also offer access possibilities to the park from the south.
It’s advisable to gather information in advance about routes and road conditions to plan your trip safely.

Access from San Carlos and Yapacaní (north)

If you are in San Carlos or Yapacaní, you can take routes leading to the park from the north.
Similar to other routes, it’s important to be well-informed about road conditions and potential difficulties that may arise during the journey.

It’s essential to remember that due to the nature of the park’s geographical location, some of the access routes may be secondary roads or may not be fully paved. Therefore, it’s recommended to plan the trip well in advance, be prepared for potential challenges along the way, and follow the guidance of local guides or authorities of the protected area to ensure a safe and respectful visit to the natural environment.


Entrance fees for accessing Amboró National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area for different categories of visitors:

Protected Area Name Foreigner National Student
Amboró National Park and ANMI 100 Bs 30 Bs 10 Bs (University Students), 5 Bs (School Students)

It’s important to highlight that these prices may be subject to changes, and it’s advisable to verify the updated information before planning a visit. The prices are differentiated for foreigners, nationals, and students, reflecting the commitment to promote local and educational tourism in this protected area.

Infrastructure and Available Services

While Amboró is mostly wild, there are infrastructure and services available, including visitor centers, restrooms, and guide services.

Safety Rules and Environmental Respect

It’s essential to follow all safety rules and environmental respect guidelines to ensure a safe visit and preserve the park’s natural environment. This includes staying on designated trails, not feeding the animals, and carrying out all trash.

Accommodation Options Inside and Around the Park

There is a variety of accommodation options available inside and around Parque Nacional Amboró, ranging from campsites to luxury lodges. The choice depends on the type of experience you’re seeking.

Name Location Offered Services
Eco Lodge Villa Amboró 35 Km from Buena Vista Cabins, meals, camping, and guided tours
Eco Lodge La Chonta 35 Km from Buena Vista Meals, camping, guided tours, and crafts
Eco Tourist Lodge Laguna Verde (Still under refurbishment) 44 Km from Buena Vista, accessed through Santa Fe de Yapacaní Cabins with a capacity for 12 people, meals, camping
Mataracú Tent Camp 43 Km from Buena Vista, accessed through Santa Fe de Yapacaní Cabins with a capacity for 24 people
El Cóndor Cabins (Still under refurbishment) 47 kilometers from Yapacaní Lodging, meals, and guided tours
Cajones del Ichilo Eco Lodge (Still under refurbishment) Access through San German Lodging, meals, and guided tours
Los Helechos Lodge (Still under refurbishment) Accessed from La Yunga de Mairana Lodging, camping areas, meals, guided tours, and crafts
Los Volcanes Lodge Located amidst the Serranía in the direction of Samaipata (south of Parque Amboró) Lodging, meals, and guided tours
Jardín de las Delicias Eco Lodge Accessed through El Torno, 36 Km from Santa Cruz de La Sierra Cabins with a capacity for 10 people, meals, guided tours

Conservation and Protection of Amboró National Park

Despite its beauty and biodiversity, Amboró faces several conservation challenges.

Current Conservation Challenges

Amboró faces threats such as deforestation, poaching, and climate change. These challenges require ongoing conservation and protection efforts.

Conservation Initiatives and Their Impact

There are several ongoing conservation initiatives in Amboró, ranging from species protection programs to reforestation projects. These initiatives have a significant impact on preserving the park for future generations.

How Visitors Can Help

Visitors can contribute to the conservation and protection efforts of Amboró National Park by following guidelines provided at the park’s entrance.

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